State police are investigating the theft of debit card information from over 200 customers of the Wyalusing branches of PS Bank and Community Bank N.A., according to a press release from state police.

According to both PS Bank Senior Vice President Valerie Kinney and Community Bank N.A. Senior Vice President Hal Wentworth, the information was stolen from a local merchant or merchants and did not involve data breaches at the banks.

Police said the perpetrator or perpetrators involved in the crime used the information to create cloned debit cards and used them to purchase merchandise at various stores across the US and Canada.

The stores included Apple, Walgreens, Walmart, Speedway Gas, Marshall's, Circle K and Dillard's at locations in Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas and in Canada, police said.

The fraudulent purchases were made between Feb. 15 and March 12, police said.

A phone call made to state police for further information was not returned by press time on Wednesday.

In an email sent to The Daily Review on Wednesday, Kinney said no customer of PS Bank affected by the theft has incurred a personal financial loss and all compromised debit cards have since been replaced and the original cards cancelled.

"This type of breach is often committed by criminals who target a business or businesses in an attempt to steal consumers' card information and sell it to others. This information is then used to create counterfeit cards," Kinney said.

Since the last fraudulent purchase was made about four weeks ago, Kinney said there has not been a recurrence and feels that the bank has identified the cards that were at risk and closed them.

She recommended cardholders be vigilant when using debit cards, never share pin numbers at points of sale and keep track of account activity on a regular basis.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; email: tzyla@thedailyreview.com; or Twitter, @TimZyla.